Wednesday, January 9, 2013


As much as I would like to say that this blog IS A REVIEW-ONLY BLOG AND THERE SHALL NEVER BE ANYTHING OTHER THAN REVIEWS (yes, in annoying caps, Ten-Commandments style), that is not only stupid and makes no sense, it's not me. I have often found that I have tons of bookish thoughts spilling out of my brain while I'm in the middle of three books, but once I finish one of them and sit down to write about it, I have nothing to say. I'm too busy swimming in the books I'm currently reading to think about books I've already finished. (With the exception of books I feel very, very strongly about. For example, I read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand at least a year and a half ago, and I can still go on an hour-long rant about it at the slightest provocation. And I mean the slightest. My poor husband found himself subject to this only a few days ago, and I doubt that he has ever, in his life, made any reference to Ayn Rand or anything to do with her. To his credit. Anyway, for your sake, I will digress.)

So, unlike many other bloggers out there, I don't seem to think of books in terms of one book at a time. If that makes sense. In other words, my thoughts about books don't fall into tidy little boxes marked Book X and Book Y. Rather, my thoughts on different books float around in my brain, meeting each other, shaking hands, and eventually starting their own publishing company together and spewing out books of their own. (Okay, I think that analogy went slightly too far.) That's why I like to be in the middle of at least two books at any given time. That is also why I'm going to give you this rant-y post, which may end up being much longer (or, heck, maybe much shorter) than I went into it expecting, so I give you permission to ignore it completely, if you so choose. (Not that you need my permission, but now you can close the window guilt-free, if you're anything like me and feel obligated to finish blog posts you've started.)

Okay. Now finally onward to the actual point of this post, which is books.

So I started out the year, as you may already know, reading Julie & Julia by Julie Powell, a much-anticipated book that did not meet expectations (if you haven't already, see my review). This is what I expected (aka hoped for) from that book: a warm-hearted foodie read, featuring love bordering on obsession for the finer points of cooking and enjoying gourmet food, with probably several vignettes throughout subtly showing the way said food can transform a person in many small and indistinct ways. I probably shouldn't have gone into the book with such specific expectations, but in my defense, the movie made me think that way. (Yeah, yeah, I know you really can't make any assumptions about a book based on its film adaptation...)

But anyway, since that book didn't measure up to my expectations, I was hungry for a book like that. I mean, in winter, one simply must fill one's life with warm, fuzzy food books. In my opinion, at least. And thankfully, the next book I opened has been really fitting the bill.

Since I started reading A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg, I've spent a little time exploring other things she's done. I found her blog, Orangette, and discovered that she only recently had a baby (aww!). From there I discovered her podcast, which I've been listening to for the past hour. It's just nice to find people who center their lives around food. I don't know why it's nice; it just is. Maybe because sometimes I feel like I would like to do that, except then again, I don't.

Don't expect things around here to make sense.

Now, I really can't get enough of this people-who-are-crazy-about-food thing, so after the Julie & Julia disaster was out of the way, I quickly entered the magical world of My Life in France by Julia Child.

Speaking of Julia Child, I was so disappointed in the movie when Julie discovers that Julia Child "hates" her. Well, in the book, it wasn't quite as tragic; I even found myself thinking mercilessly, "Well, what do you expect?" I mean, if I were a ninety-year-old famous person, I'm not sure I would totally appreciate someone cussing out her husband--and all her readers, for that matter, but that's a stylistic choice, I suppose--in my name. I mean, I do have some sympathy for Powell, I'm not that heartless, but I still can see why Julia Child would brush her off as a goofy, non-serious American just trying to get some attention. (I'm not saying she is that way, I'm just saying I can see why Julia Child might see her that way.)

After reading Julie & Julia, I'm really eager to see Julia Child through her own eyes, in My Life in France. Julie Powell's opinions of her are certainly amusing, but they don't feel completely true. Not to me, anyway. Julia Child was such a complex and alive person that I think she deserves to tell her own story.

I've only read a few pages of My Life in France, admittedly, but so far I find it fascinating. It could practically be a novel. (I suspect some parts are a little bit fictitious, since I'm not sure how she could remember every meal she ate 60 years ago. But who cares?)

I got all these books out of the library, of course, when I went on a library rampage as soon as the new year started. I have four more waiting to be read. I'm not sure I'll get to all of them, but here they are, in no particular order:

All Roads Lead to Austen by Amy Elizabeth Smith--Not really a fan of the writing style from the introduction, but the premise is interesting.
Night by Elie Wiesel--I don't feel like I want to read this book, I feel like I need to. I guess I'm afraid...
Girl Meets God by Lauren F. Winner--I don't know if I'll really read this one. It's kind of intriguing, but it has lowest priority right now.
Versailles: A Biography of a Palace by Tony Spawforth--The only non-memoir of the whole bunch, and it's also very intriguing! I really hope I do actually read this one.

So there you have it. Which should I read first? I'm only in the middle of two books right now, I can handle at least one more!


  1. Great post--I enjoyed reading it. It makes me want to read a foodie book or blog. I haven't read any of the other three books, but I have read Night by Wiesel, and it was good. I read it a long time ago (like, in my early teens) and I remember being disappointed, but I think that was because I was comparing it to The Hiding Place. If you decide to read that one, I'll have to pick it up again so I can discuss with you a bit!